Treasury Holds off on Garnishments
Posted: Sep 09, 2013 7:26 PM EDT Updated: Sep 09, 2013 7:26 PM EDT
by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam – The U.S. Department of Treasury has placed on hold future garnishments of Guam Memorial Hospital Authority funds. According to Senator Ben Pangelinan he was informed of the news this morning. “This comes at a time when the Guam Legislature has increased appropriations to the GMH above the level they had requested for FY 2014 in addition to the over $33.4 million in authority granted to the Governor to assist in the operations of our public hospital. I am certainly grateful that the Treasury Department has agreed to working with us,” Pangelinan stated.
Since July, the U.S. Department of Treasury has been garnishing over $1 million monthly in Medicare payments to pay down the hospital’s outstanding debt to Perry Point, a large distributor of medical supplies. The monthly garnishments along with the hospital exhausting most of its appropriated expenditures for this fiscal year has left GMHA struggling to make payroll and pay vendors.
According to a press release from Pangelinan’s office he contacted Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo last week in order to place pressure on the Treasury to place a hold on the garnishment of GMHA funds in light of the multiple legislations, including the FY 2014 budget act, that financially assist the hospital.